OLD Media Moves

Just a matter of time before Murdoch takes the wheel

July 22, 2007

Posted by Chris Roush

Richard Perez-Pena of The New York Times writes Sunday that it will just be a matter of time after News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch acquires Dow Jones & Co., the parent of The Wall Street Journal, before he starts to tinker with the paper.

Rupert MurdochPerez-Pena wrote, “Yet many experts also surmise that while Mr. Murdoch’s influence on the pages of The Journal is inevitable, it will matter less than people think, especially in the short run. His primary business strategy in buying Dow Jones is to use The Journal and the newswires as a source of content and credibility for the Fox Business Channel, which he plans to introduce in October.

“He’s saying, ‘I like this paper, I’ve paid a lot of money for it, I think The Journal and its brand are a valuable part of my global strategy,’ and he’s not going to mess that up,’ said Anne K. Gordon, a partner at Dubilier & Company, a private investment firm, and a former managing editor of The Philadelphia Inquirer. She said people who predict that Mr. Murdoch would intervene aggressively, in damaging ways, ‘do not give him enough credit.’

“Ken Doctor, a media analyst with Outsell, a business research firm, said that when it comes to changing The Journal, ‘I also think he’ll go slow, at least at first,’ because Mr. Murdoch ‘doesn’t want to jeopardize the brand he’s buying.’

“Even so, he said, ‘I find it just about impossible to imagine that if he really wants to make changes, any agreement will hold him back for very long.'”

Read more here.

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